Woman dies in fire in northeastern Mexico

Mexico City, Mar 25 (EFE).- A woman died of smoke inhalation in one of the fires besetting the northeastern Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, authorities said Monday.

A spokesman for the state government told Efe that so far there have been no other reported fatalities and efforts to contain and put out the fires are continuing in the region, where it has barely rained in recent months.

The municipalities that have been most severely affected by the fires, which began six days ago, are Lagunillas, Santa Catarina, Ciudad Valles, Tamasopo, Tampacan and Tamazunchale.

The 55-year-old woman died Sunday, the state Attorney General's Office said.

Apparently, the victim "had tried to put out a fire in a pasture on her property" near the town of Tamuin, the state AG's office added.

Via its Twitter account, the AG's office said that the woman inhaled too much carbon monoxide produced by the fire and this caused her death.

Officials said more than 3,000 hectares (7,500 acres) have burned in the 70 fires detected so far, of which 11 are still burning and being fought by some 600 firefighters.

San Luis Potosi Gov. Fernando Toranzo told Milenio Television on Monday that over the past few hours authorities had brought in four helicopters to help with firefighting duties and that they expect to have all the fires extinguished within the next few hours.

He said that most of the fires could have been set by sugar cane farmers who wanted to burn the stubble in their fields so that they could replant, but due to the wind the fires got out of control.